Friday, November 30, 2012

The More Things Change, the More They Remain the Same (Wisconsin State Legislature Edition)

Wisconsin State Journal, December 7, 1991

Governor Walker: Memo to Alberta Darling and John Nygren (Wisconsin 2013-15 Biennial Budget)

Governor hears ideas from La Crosse foundry workers. (La Crosse Tribune, 11/30/2012)

Here's the step of the state budget process to which Walker is referring.  (Graphic from the Wisconsin Budget Project.)

The Joint Committee on Finance -- the names are changing, of course -- held 4 hearing in 2011:  Stevens Point (April 7), Minong (Washburn County, April 8), West Allis (April 11), Arcadia (Trempealeau County, April 13).

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, (Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight/The Week of November 26, 2012), on Tuesday, November 20, the Department of Administration (DOA) submitted the state agency requests and revenue estimates for the 2013-15 state budget to the Governor's office.

Governor Walker is likely to introduce his budget for the 2013-15 biennium sometime after WLA/WEMTA's annual Library Legislative Day on Tuesday, February 5,  2013.

In 2011, Walker introduced a budget repair bill on February 11 and his 2011-13 biennial budget on March 1.

The 2011 budget repair bill was a one-time fix to, as Walker announced, balance the budget and lay the foundation for a long-term sustainable budget.  Based on his subsequent statements, I think it's safe to assume to the Governor feels the necessary repairs have been made.  Expect only one budget introduction in 2013.

Governor Walker discusses his top 5 budget priorities.

"Transforming Education" gets the biggest chunk of time:  1:54 to 3:04 (of a 3:43 video).

Appleton City Clerk Begs to Differ with Governor Walker

Walker didn't consult poll workers about ending same-day voter registration. Appleton Post-Crescent, 11/29/2012)

Related post:
How to describe the Beloit Daily News editorial board?  (11/26/2012)

Has Sheboygan's Mayor Van Akkeren Counted His Votes?

Mayor vetoes 2013 budget. (Sheboygan Press, 11/29/2012)

Stay tuned.  The Sheboygan Common Council is voting to override this evening.

Related posts:
Clinton residents advocate for an increase in library appropriation from village board.  (11/19/2012)
In Oshkosh, the library is a bad reason to raise taxes.  (11/18/2012)
Manitowoc finance committee amends budget to restore half of Mayor's $100,000 cut to library.  (11/13/2012)
Meeting service needs and budget challenges @ the Manitowoc Public Library. (11/13/2012)
City of Manitowoc.  (10/9/2012)
City of Appleton.  (10/4/2012)
Budget sideshow in Sheboygan.  (8/22/2012)
City of Fond du Lac.  (8/13/2012)
Sheboygan budget showdown on tap.  (8/2/2012)
City of Madison.  (7/10/2012)

Wisconsin a Blue State When It Comes to the Funding of Its Pension System

And that's good.  In fact, it's better than good.

Wisconsin is currently the strongest system, with a 99.8% funded ratio and a UAAL of $23 per capita.

As confirmed by.....

The State of State Pension Plans:  A Deep Dive Into Shortfalls and Surpluses. (Found via the Wisconsin Budget Project blog.  Maps at top found on page 3 of Morningstar report.)

From page 15 of report.  For the years 2007-2011.  (Add 3 zeroes, i.e., Wisconsin total assets for 2011 are $80,626,900,000 -- billions.)

AVA = Assets
AAL = Actuarial accrued liability..
UAAL = Diifference between AVA and AAL.  The lower the number, the better.  Illinois, with the worst-funded pension system, has a UAAL of 6,505.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fact Sheet on Community Broadband and Public Savings

Other communities profiled:
  • Bristol, Virginia
  • Lafayette, Louisiana
  • Martinsville, Virginia
  • Medina County, Ohio
  • Washington, D. C.
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Greenacres, Florida

The Chief Strategist for the Romney Campaign Likes Those Young White Voters

Opinions. Mitt Romney: A good man. The right fight.  (Washington Post, 11/28/2012)

Excerpt:  While John McCain lost white voters younger than 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift.

Attention Stuart Stevens, take a look at these population projections from Pew Research.
  • 19% will be an immigrant in 2050.  
  • Latinos, the largest U.S. minority group, will triple in size and account for most of U.S. population growth through 205
  • The non-Hispanic white population will become a minority by 2050.  (47%) 

And these birth rate statistics.   Despite the recent decline, foreign-born mothers continue to give birth to a disproportionate share of the nation’s newborns, as they have for at least the past two decades.

And while we're at it.

An Awakened Giant: The Hispanic Electorate is Likely to Double by 2030.  (Pew Hispanic Center, 11/14/2012)

What election results were you following, Karoli?

U.S. Presidential Re-Election Results, 1964-2012

Tea Party Refuses to Accept Reality, Opts for Desperation.  (Crooks and Liars, 11/29/2012)

Excerpt:  Yes, Mr. Phillips is one of the malevolent voices of the right who just cannot deal with the fact that the nation re-elected President Obama by the highest popular vote margins since Lyndon Johnson.  [Emphasis added.]

Even someone with a marginal knowledge of U.S. Presidential history should have heard alarm bells go off once this excerpted sentence was written.  It's not even close.

Republican Party Diversity

ENCORE.  I'm waiting for the "Old White Men" version.

No Legs for "See You at the Top"

In LINKcat member library collections.  Ziglar is getting a bit of a bounce at Amazon.

2 copies of what's cataloged as a revised and expanded edition (1977) in LINKcat: Baraboo, Portage.  There are 51 library locations in LINKcat, including the 8 branches of the Madison Public Library.

3 copies of the 25th anniversary edition (2000) in LINKcat:  Ashman (Madison), Pinney (Madison), Reedsburg.  

A LINKcat author search for Zig Ziglar results in 35 hits.  A number of the records have just 1 holding attached.

Zig Ziglar New York Times obituary.

Although I've never read any of Ziglar's books, I have to say these "9 Steps to Get to the Top" very much reflect the way I live my life.

Justice Patience Roggensack Corrals Old-White-Men Vote in Wisconsin Supreme Court Re-Election Bid

Roggensack formally announces re-election bid. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/28/2012)

Excerpt:   She announced Wednesday the honorary co-chairmen of her campaign will be former Justices William Callow, Louis Ceci, Donald Steinmetz and Jon Wilcox. Roggensack served with Wilcox but not the others.

Wisconsin Court System/Supreme Court/Former Justices
William J. Callow
Donald Steinmetz
Louis Ceci
Jon Wilcox

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement Asks a Question About Voter ID Laws

Did New State Voting Laws Affect the Youth Vote in 2012?  (11/28/2012)

Sloppy research for a group that has "information" and "research" in its name.

Here's the National Conference of State Legislatures' tally.

IOWA (not on NCSL list)

Why would Matt push for a law that his state already has on the books?  Well, Iowa doesn't have a voter ID law.

After Voter ID legislation stalled at the statehouse, Schultz tried – through “emergency rule-making” – to purge voters before the November 6 election, a move that was stopped by a temporary court injunction in a case brought by the Iowa ACLU and the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa.



Related posts:
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) still drinking the Kool-Aid.  (11/12/2012)
Tennessee Supreme Court gives Memphis Public Library cards a thumbs up for voter ID.  (11/4/2012)
Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling pisses off Republicans.  (10/27/2012)
Early voting begins today (Monday, October 22) in Wisconsin.  (10/22/2012)
Judge finds at least one aspect of Tennessee voter ID law "nonsensical".  (8/1/2012)
Judge to weigh in on library cards in Memphis voter ID skirmish.  (7/30/2012)
Library card/voter ID fray in Memphis.  (7/10/2012)
I'd be careful making any long-term Voter ID assessments based on the February 21 primary election turnout.  (2/26/2012)
Hope you signed at least one recall petition, Ruthelle.  (12/5/2011)
True, but why not share a couple of examples with us, Deborah.  (11/11/2011)
Hoping that other state newspapers have similar local news to share.  (10/29/2011)
Walker sez "We're broke" but GAB could spend $600,000 on voter ID public education plan.  (10/12/2011)
ACLU of Wisconsin denounces photo ID policy reversal.  (10/7/2011)
Voter ID:  "A solution without a problem".  (9/25/2011)
Wisconsin State Bar's Civil Rights Section requests AG Holder to monitor Voter ID Bill.  (9/1/2011)
What's the matter with Wisconsin?  (7/27/2011)
Wisconsin Legislative Council information memorandum.  (7/15/2011)
Appleton Alderman Wants Pushback on State Voter ID Bill.  (2/7/2011)

Hold Your Nose While We Take a Look at the Wisconsin Reporter

Conservative groups create own news outlets to counter alleged liberal media bias.  (Capital Times, 11/27/2012)

The Food Chain

Conservative-leaning online media organization
Statehouse News Online
News project of the Franklin Center
Calls itself a nonpartisan organization
Division of Statehouse News

Here's the political cred of "veteran political blogger Kevin Binervsie", who, based on a quick sampling, apparently writes most of the commentary for the Wisconsin Reporter.
  • Served in the George W. Bush administration from 2007-2009
  • Worked on numerous state Republican campaigns, most recently as research director for Ron Johnson for Senate
  • Worked for the Heritage Foundation

Here's a commentary from M. D. Kittle, one of the Wisconsin Reporter's two staff members.

Liberal media sees itself as real victim in Kyle Wood case.  (11/2/2012)

Excerpt:  The story comes from Isthmus, Madison’s alternative weekly and online publication (voice of Che Guevara wing of Lib City U.S.A.). 

The Isthmus, fittingly on Halloween, published Judith Davidoff’s rambling media messianic complex headlined, “How the Kyle Wood hoax went viral: Self-proclaimed conservative watchdogs spurn reporting basics.” 

Let’s cut right to the marrow of this bad bone: Isthmus, like other liberal publications, is bitching and moaning about a “conservative story” that Isthmus and many of its brethren in the liberal and mainstream media (am I repeating myself here?) giddily ran with.

Fair and balanced, right?

The Scott Walker Budget Road Show (Reserved Seating Only)

Walker says tax cuts, jobs, transportation are budget priorities. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/27/2012)

This "Talk with Walker" took place in front of "around" three dozen workers at ACE Marine in Green Bay.  (Someone can't count to 36?)  All they heard was old news.

Can You Say "Climate Change"?

The Associated Press can't -- at least not in this article.

As Great Lakes water levels plummet, towns act to save harbors. (Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 11/272012)

Excerpt: The Great Lakes, the world's biggest freshwater system, are shrinking because of drought and rising temperatures, a trend that accelerated with this year's almost snowless winter and scorching summer.

Water levels are near-record lows:
Water levels below historical averages

Economic impact
  • Freighters forced to carry lighter loads
  • Shallow marinas inaccessible to pleasure boats
  • Weedy, exposed bottomlands at beaches

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Things They Say

Grothman bill co-sponsor defending bill's controversial language. (WTMJ, 3/9/2012)

Excerpt: There is new fallout from a state Senator's controversial bill that compares accidental pregnancies to child abuse.

John Sununu, Still Full of Bluster, Still a Political Burden All These Years

Wisconsin State Journal, December 4, 1991

For Gilda, there once was a time when....

Gilda’s Club changing name, as fewer know namesake. (Wisconsin State Journal, 11/27/2012)

Excerpt: Roseanne Roseannadanna and other memorable “Saturday Night Live” characters created by comedian Gilda Radner are not part of the cultural literacy of young people in 2012. And that’s a main reason Gilda’s Club Madison is changing its name, effective in January.

New name:  Cancer Support Community.

Gilda Radner, 42, Comic Original Of 'Saturday Night Live' Zaniness.  (The New York Times, May 21, 1989)

Wisconsin cancer support group draws criticism by dropping comedian Gilda Radner from name.  (Washington Post, 11/30/2012) 

Beloit College Mindset List 2016.

For me, #17 provides one of the most jarring reactions.   Benjamin Braddock, having given up both a career in plastics and a relationship with Mrs. Robinson, could be their grandfather.

Cultural literacy update.

Person of Interest Missing in Action at Detroit Public Library Commissioners Meeting

Wisconsin Applied Population Laboratory Has the Full Report on Declining Deer Hunters

LINK to full report

DNR:  Number of hunters on a steady decline.  (WEAU, 11/26/2012)

Excerpt: 1:  Despite the fact that the number of female hunters is increasing and the activity is becoming more popular among younger females, the number of female hunters remains too small to make up for the decline in male hunters.  In 2010, 91% of gun deer licenses sold were to males.  For this reason, this report focuses on understanding declines in the male gun deer hunter population.

Excerpt 2:  The combination of a large number of potential hunters (people overall) in the Baby Boom generation and relatively high rates of participation for Baby Boomers has contributed to large numbers of hunters over the last several years.

Excerpt 3:  Between age 15 and 23, a significant number of the boys who tried hunting decide it is not for them. Between age 25 and 35 about 99.5% continue each year. However, after age 35 hunter retention gradually declines.

Excerpt 4:  Projections suggest that the number of male gun deer hunters will decline considerably over the next several years.   Although they follow very different methodological approaches, both the Cohort Survival and APC models off er remarkably similar results

Monday, November 26, 2012

Crooked Lines for Crooked Times

Why Americans Actually Voted For A Democratic House. (Think Progress, 11/7/2012)

Tally as of November 7, 2012
  • House Democrats:    53,952,240
  • House Republicans:  53,402,643

Yet at the time that this post was written, the Republican held a 233-192 advantage, with 10 seats still undecided.

Excerpt:    Republicans won several key state legislatures and governors’ mansions in the election cycle before redistricting, and they gerrymandered those states within an inch of their lives.

Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and John Nygren (R-Marinette) Named Co-Chairs of Joint Committeee on Finance

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) news release on Darling appointment.

Public libraries in the 22nd Assembly District
Bayside/Fox Point/Glendale/River Hills.  North Shore Library 
Mequon/Thiensville.   Frank L. Weyenberg Library
Milwaukee Public Library.  (service area sliver)
Sussex/Lisbon.  Pauline Haass Public Library, Sussex (Lisbon service area)
Whitefish Bay Public Library

Academic library
Rincker Memorial Library, Concordia University, Mequon

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's news release on Nygren, Strachota appointments.

Public libraries in the 89th Assembly District
Brown County Public Library (service area)
Marinette County Library 

Academic library
UW-Marinette Library

Speaker Robin Vos also selected Pat Strachota (R-West Bend) as Assembly Vice-Chair on Joint Finance.

On the Democratic side, Minority Leader Chris Larson chose Bob Wirch (Pleasant Prairie) and Jennifer Shilling (La Crosse) to serve on the committee.  Current co-chair Lena Taylor was not reappointed.

In a nutshell.   The Joint Committee on Finance is a statutory, 16-member standing committee of the Wisconsin Legislature. The Committee's primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legislative committee charged with the review of all state appropriations and revenues.

With Republicans holding majorities in the Senate and Assembly, the 16 members will include 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

Most commonly used adjective preceding "Joint Finance".

Everything you always wanted to know.

Queens Library Perseveres in the Rockaways

Despite Ruin, Library Offers Books and Community.  (The New York Times, 11/25/2012)

Excerpt: All told, the storm destroyed more than 100,000 items including books and DVDs in four of the five Queens library branches in the Rockaways, which had a combined total of more than 600,000 visitors last year. The Peninsula branch lost about 40,000 books and other materials, as well as its laptops and other electronic equipment.

AARP Policy Institute Report: Impact of Baby Boomers on U.S. Travel, 1969 to 2009

New Patterns of Travel.    Recently the historic pattern of year-over-year increases in vehicle miles of travel has shifted, and researchers and policymakers wonder if the recent declines indicate a historic turning point or are simply a product of the economic downturn that will rebound when the economy recovers.

JoAnna and I have recently talked about going from a 2- to 1-car household.

One type of travel that has seen astonishing growth and can be expected to continue growing is travel to access medical services.  (See Figure 7 on page 8 of report.)

The baby boomers, after decades of high vehicle use, may be shifting some of their travel to other means.

As  for JoAnna and me, we bike and take the bus more often..

And then there's the concept known as walkable communities.

It would be difficult to categorize all of Middleton as a walkable community, but the neighborhood where JoAnna and I live certainly fits the description.

Distance to